The life of a truck driver can be a lonely and arduous one at times--and always challenging. And in the age of COVID-19, this profession ranks among the most challenging and risky.
Dianne and Bill McCarthy of Brooksville know a little something about the life of a trucker, as Bill came off the road just before the pandemic seized and spread across the nation. And they wanted to do something special for the brave essential workers that have kept on truckin' through a very tough time; an effort that they have come to call Treats for Truckers.
"My husband and I have started a "charity" (not officially registered) for our OTR truck drivers," said Dianne. "I was watching an episode of "Returning the Favor" on Facebook. A lady in Idaho started making treat bags for the drivers in her area. What an awesome idea, so why not start one here? I reached out to her and she has given me the suggestions on where we need to start. So far we have received a few monetary donations. These donations have purchased produce bags that we will fill with items such as: coffee, snacks, popcorn and protein bars."
With a goal to distribute treat bags twice monthly to start, the McCarthys established a donation page at https://www.facebook.com/donate/285663172504246/ for their new Treats for Truckers effort.
"Truck drivers are still finding it hard to get food or snacks during COVID with many places closed or the dining areas are not open. (Can't really do a drive-through with a semi)," Dianne wrote in the page's description box. "If anyone is interested in helping deliver, package, donate items or money please PM me. I will be taking little bags of snacks and drinks to the local truck stops. I will start once a month but would like to do this weekly. I would also love it if some children would write little notes to put in the bags as well."
The inaugural Treats for Truckers distribution of 25 treat bags took place Friday, Aug. 22, at the Flying J on Hwy 54.
"My husband and I, Bill, were able to make our 1st round of deliveries Saturday afternoon in the pouring down rain. But it was amazing, interesting, and fun," Dianne reveals. "We met people from all over. We met truckers that were by themselves, we met team truckers and even ones with families."
The McCarthys themselves derived substantial rewards from their Treats for Truckers launch.
"It felt really good to give to those who I feel are family, it put Bill and I back into a place close enough to feel we were on the road again," said Dianne McCarthy. "We definitely miss being out seeing our beautiful country."
On the long journey of giving and caring, Treats for Truckers has just hit the road--and they won't be slowing down anytime soon.
"Bill and I will continue to hand out bags to wherever we can. I carry some around in my car; that way if the opportunity arises, I have something available to hand out," said Dianne McCarthy. "I can't thank these men and women enough, for continuing this job being on the road for weeks on end to make sure that we have supplies we need."
To support Treats for Truckers, visit https://www.facebook.com/donate/285663172504246/.
"Things people don't even consider, how they get (food into) the grocery store and then into their home," said Dianne McCarthy. "Without truck drivers, this would not be the case."
Tell us about your own giving efforts! Send your good news to community reporter Megan Hussey at [email protected]. Show us your 'Sun'shine!